Review Detail

9.3 20 10
FanFix August 23, 2012 5442
(Updated: September 11, 2012)
Review by buddythegoon — January 27, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

I feel like a moron. I was thinking when I looked this edit up that I’ll just download the compressed version, since it will take so much longer to download the DVD version, plus if I don’t like it, then I’m not saddled with 4 gb of data for it.
Well, that was stupid.

This is freaking awesome. It epitomizes the philosophy that less is indeed more. As many of Anakin’s (and others) horrid lines are removed as possible. Needless exposition and/or restating of plot points by characters are also removed. We see actions and their consequences, consequences, mind you, that seem more logical than they did in the original cut.

No longer is Anakin whining like a baby over everything that happens to him. He is now brooding and confused (for all his lack of acting skill, the one good thing Hayden Christensen can do is look confused). He keeps most of his concerns to himself, letting them simmer in his mind while Palpatine continues to manipulate him. Instead of corny, lovey dovey talk, we see Anakin distancing himself from his wife and she from him as the secrets they keep from one another multiply. All the while, even though it’s a short while, the viewer actually gets to see why Anakin, with all these great things going for him – Jedi hero, loving wife, baby on the way – eventually decides that he can only trust Palpatine. The trust theme becomes so much bigger, even the the time for build-up is smaller. This is truly masterful work.

I also have to put in a special comment about lightsaber battles. Red Letter Media brought up an overarching issue with the Prequels that I agree with wholeheartedly, i.e. the lightsaber battles essentially lack heart. They look and feel over-choreographed, where as Luke’s fights with Vader in the OT look more raw and emotional. I don’t know if Kerr felt the same way, but his edits to the two major lightsaber battles bring back the emotional aspect as best as can be for the prequels. Windu and Palpatine now have a lightsaber battle, not a wire fight/modern dance/gymnastics exhibition. It’s now quicker and more wicked. The other jedi masters, with the exception of smiley braintail guy (there’s naught one can really do about that guy – I’m really OK with just assuming he sucks at lightsaber battling), also appear more surprised by the attack, which has become an essential element in most Episode III edits.

Similarly, Obi Wan’s fight with Anakin is tighter and angrier. These guys are now in a fight, not a video game. They’re not concerned with how good their force push abilities are, just blocking the next strike. There are a few force jumps in there at appropriate points, but now it’s almost as if the first guy who tries to get fancy in the fight gets 3/4 of his limbs cut off. The edit to Obi Wan’s action after attaining the “high ground” (which thankfully he no longer deems it necessary to explain) is also interesting and effective. By removing dialogue, Kerr has still made it look like Obi Wan knows, or as least suspects, Anakin’s next move. The transition between Obi Wan’s (feigned?) move to walk away and his fast move to chop Anakin to pieces is a little rough, but totally forgivable. I also wish that Kerr would have fit Anakin screaming “I hate you!” in there somewhere, but again, that’s totally cool.

As a final nicety, Kerr has said, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” to leaving in any part of James Earl Jones’s “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!” We get to see Vader’s birth, and the first trademark breath. That’s it. Simple. Effective. Beautiful. Those three words really sum up the whole of the edit.

I’m giving this a 9.5 out of 10, which rounds up to 10 anyway.
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